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Indiana eviction moratorium expires Friday, what it means for Hoosiers

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 5:27 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - In just three days, an executive order made to protect Hoosiers from being kicked out of their homes, comes to an end. It’s likely to impact thousands of Hoosiers, but the unknown of just how bad the blow will be has many local officials very concerned.

“We just know a lot of people are going through a tough time,” South Bend Engagement and Economic Empowerment Director Alkeyna Aldridge says.

But Aldridge is not the only one nervous about the potential fallout that may come from Executive Order 20-02 expiring on Friday, Stephan Drendall, an attorney who has handled eviction and tenant rights cases over the last 40 years, is also worried.

“We’re expecting a mountain of eviction cases will be filed, or ones that have been filed put on hold will be allowed to move forward,” Drendall says.

Drendall says Hoosiers have had a tough time paying rent during the pandemic. In fact, according to United States Census Bureau, as of last week, 24 percent of Hoosiers have either not paid last month’s rent, or in fear of not being able to pay this month’s rent.

That is why Aldridge says it is important to understand how Hoosiers, possibly facing eviction, can get help.

“We are working with community partners with both direct utility assistance and rental assistance, for folks who have experienced a loss of income, or have gone on to unemployment. That is what the city is offering,” Aldridge says.

The City of South Bend is also offering an “Eviction Defense Program” that can be found online on the City’s website along with some “Top Tenant Tips” for those facing eviction.

“To some extent, we have no clue what the impact is going to be. Like, how many families really go through this in complete silence because they are ashamed. But I hope people continue to reach out to our team, continue to reach out to their state and federal electives because the more that they push, the more they can invest in this as well. But it’s a difficult thing to ask people to come out of their shadows on, but we know it is going to impact a lot of folks,” Aldridge says.

For more information on renter’s assistance, you can head to southbend.in.gov/rent, contacting Indiana Legal Services by calling (574) 234-8121, or by going to in.gov/ihcda for key resources provided by the Indiana Housing Community Development Authority.

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